The Take Home Chef: Enjoy These Sizzling Titles in Your Kitchen

A top-down view of a wooden cutting board surrounded by vibrant vegetables
08/04/2020

What's Cooking? These Delectable Dinnertime Titles

Fire up these listens while you prepare dinner to ensure you’re cooking with gas

Some people see cooking as a communal hobby, an act of generosity and nourishment to be shared with friends and loved ones. Others see cooking as a solitary skill to be mastered over time. And some treat cooking like an art form. Then there are the master chefs who devote their entire lives to the world of food preparation and whose culinary creations can rightly be called masterpieces.

What does each have in common? They all love cooking from home and they’re always looking for ways to improve the experience.

Whether you're a culinary pro or a burgeoning chef looking to master the basics, the right audiobook or podcast makes a perfect pairing for a night in at the countertop. Making cooking while listening your new routine is easy with entertainment to inspire queued up and ready to play.

Below, you’ll find three categories: titles that help you master the fundamentals; those that immerse you in the lifestyle of cooking and high-octane Audible Original podcasts to help keep you motivated while you’re slicing and dicing.

Make the perfect listen part of your mealtime mise-en-place and prepare to level up your cooking game.

Master the Fundamentals with These Culinary Guidebooks

The most helpful books in the kitchen don’t have to be recipe books (though many are!) and sometimes a book that guides you through the processes or the science behind cooking can be the most helpful. If you’re interested in understanding the process of cooking, here are some titles you can rely on.

Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat challenges the notion that learning how to cook requires following recipes. Instead, it gives you the tools to create your own.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Author:
Samin Nosrat
Narrator:
Samin Nosrat
Length:
5:57
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

As the title suggests, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat breaks cooking down into four major categories. It not only teaches you how these different components work, but how they work together to make food taste better. While this title puts theory first and uncovers the science behind food preparation, it never gets bogged down in chemistry.

Another great guidebook is The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt, an audiobook digest of some of the best content from the experimental blog of the same name, applying scientific rigour to the American food landscape. You might know J. Kenji López-Alt as Serious Eats’ culinary wunderkind and here he looks at how food operates even down to the molecular level, proving that you can teach deep subjects without being patronizing

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

Author:
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Narrator:
Mike Chamberlain
Length:
21:22
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

López-Alt’s method is surprisingly simple. He experiments with several different ways you can prepare a dish, and then chooses his preferred method, telling you why.

You’ll learn a great deal when you listen to this title, including, for example, why vodka is an imperative ingredient in vodka penne (it helps cut through the sweetness of the tomatoes and cream).

Listen to this one as you prepare meals alongside the narration, learning each culinary lesson as you go.

Get into the Cooking Lifestyle

In the number one New York Times best-seller, In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan puts forth a deceptively simple answer to a difficult question: What should we eat?

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

Author:
Michael Pollan
Narrator:
Scott Brick
Length:
6:22
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." This is the tagline, but the writer goes to great lengths to explain why this is the right way to go. This audiobook argues that food shouldn’t be treated as fuel — a sum of its nutritional components — but instead as nourishment that can enrich our lives, help us be healthier versions of ourselves and bring pleasure back to the dinner table.

Don’t eat anything that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize. If you can, shop at farmer’s markets instead of grocery stores. Eat plants, especially the leafy kinds.

For a no-nonsense, guilt-free title that will open your eyes to the realities of what goes into the food we consume, give this one a listen.

Feel like firing up a food-based memoir to listen to while you cook dinner tonight? Notes from a Young Black Chef, a remarkable memoir about the collision of food, fame, race and the will to persevere, makes the perfect cooking companion.

Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir

Author:
Kwame Onwuachi, Joshua David Stein
Narrator:
Kwame Onwuachi
Length:
7:37
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

This is more than a collection of notes — it’s the culinary coming-of-age story of Kwame Onwuachi. He’s a young, ambitious man who went from the streets of the Bronx to the bottom of the food chain as a chef on an industrial cleanup ship, to appearing as a contestant on Top Chef, to owning a series of successful restaurants.

This heart-felt, honest story about chasing your dreams also happens to include over a dozen recipes as a bonus, which come as a free PDF when you purchase the audiobook.

An elderly Asian couple prepare a meal together in a bright kitchen, laughing

Add Fuel to Your Fire with High Energy Podcasts

You’ve just returned home from the market, you’ve laid out all your ingredients on the cutting board, you’ve poured a glass of wine and you’re ready to start cooking. But it’s been a long day and you need a little light listening to get you motivated.

Why not dig in to some lighter fare? Podcasts bring a great deal of energy — especially with a fiery host who knows how to pick the right guests.

Tonight, tune in to the electrically outspoken advice columnist Dan Savage, whose podcast Hot Mic explores true stories about sex and relationships with guests from across the country (like Jen Kirkman, Greg Behrendt, Michael Yo, Jessi Klein and others) offering colour commentary.

Hot Mic with Dan Savage

Author:
Dan Savage, Greg Behrendt, Rachel Bloom, Jessi Klein, Dan Bucatinsky, Audible Comedy, Joel Kim Booster, Michael Yo, Rachel Lark, Chad Daniels, Marina Franklin
Narrator:
Length:
15:00
Type:
Podcast Podcast

These sultry stories go great with whatever curry you’ve got cooking on the stove, and Savage offers insightful commentary across 30 episodes, all of which you can download immediately with your Audible membership.

When it comes to history, it can be more difficult than you think to parse fact from fiction. What’s true, and what’s been cooked up? Hijacked Histories takes a look at history and examines which stories are true, which have been exaggerated and which are outright bogus.

Hijacked Histories

Author:
Dominic Sandbrook
Narrator:
Length:
3:30
Type:
Podcast Podcast

Host Dominic Sandbrook travels through the American Deep South and across the pond to the air raid shelters in WWII Britain to see which historical accounts check out and which don’t. It’s your daily recommended serving of historical accuracy and it pairs beautifully with whatever you’re serving.

Compiling recipes, learning food science and mastering cooking techniques is a lifetime passion — and titles from Audible can help you get started. Need some recipes to inspire you? Looking for some food-related non-fiction titles? Need a shot of podcast energy at dinnertime to get you ready to cook? Audible has you covered.

And if you’re juggling more plates than you can handle, turn dinnertime into bonding time by combining the joys of cooking with the joys of parenting. Cooking together is just one of several activities for busy parents trying to keep their children entertained, and when you bring your kids into the kitchen, you have the perfect opportunity to teach them what you’ve been learning.

Take your cooking skills to the next level with the best in audio entertainment. Try one of the titles above or any of the other best-selling audiobooks available from our collection.

If you love titles about food trends and the people who set them, share your favourites with us today.

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